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July 1st, 2016

The Small Farms update summarizes announcements, information resources, opportunities and upcoming events relevant to small farms.  Please feel free to share this information in newsletters, email lists, etc. If you have announcements or resources you would like to submit, please visit our new online form. Subscribe here. Thank you again for your interest and support of small farms in New York.   

Anu Rangarajan, Director, Cornell Small Farm Program
Featured Resource 
Northeast Food Hub Development Resource
The Cornell University Cooperative Enterprise Program (CEP) has examined opportunities for food hub development in the northeastern United States. Food hubs aggregate, market, and distribute local, source-identified products. They are a gateway for small and mid-sized farmers and producers to access intermediary buyers, i.e. wholesalers, distributors, retail grocery, restaurants, institutions, etc. The CEP has focused on research useful to persons or organizations interested in developing a food hub enterprise. Access copies of the full reports of each project along with their respective executive summaries here.
Tractor Training Workshops
Application due July 18, 2016
Increasing production on the farm can often require investments in equipment to improve labor efficiency. Are you a farmer who is interested in scaling up farm production through investment in your first tractor or upgrading to a bigger piece of equipment? The Cornell Small Farms Program will be hosting two upcoming workshops on the basics of tractor operation, safety, and daily maintenance protocols. The class is designed to de-mystify tractors and equipment, empower and inspire, and inform smart "scale-appropriate" equipment choices and purchase decisions. There is no cost for the training and lunch will be provided. The first workshop will be held on Tuesday, July 26 at Grindstone Farm in Pulaski, NY. To apply, click here.
The second workshop will be held on Thursday, July 28 at the Homer C. Thompson Vegetable Research Farm in Freeville, NY. To apply, click here.
Cornell Small Farms Seminar Series at Empire Farm Days 
The Cornell Small Farms Program is pleased to announce a free series of short seminars at the 2016 Empire Farm Days. Seminar topics include; Small Farms Program resources, starting a farm, building soil health, agroforesty, mushroom production, and the NY Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program. To attend, stop by the theater area of the Cornell Center in the Empire Building on Wednesday, August 10th, from 9:30am- 12:30pm. Find more information about Empire Farm Days here.
New State Pollinator Protection Plan Announced
State officials and Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of Cornell's College of the Agriculture and Life Sciences, announced recommendations of the New York State Pollinator Task Force at Cornell's Dyce Lab for Honey Bee Studies in Varna, New York, June 24. One study will investigate the effects of pesticides, pathogens and parasites on New York's wild pollinators; the second project will investigate those effects among hobby and commercial bee operations, in addition to best management practices. The pollinator protection plan is important because research indicates New York beekeepers experienced losses to 54 percent of their colonies in 2014 alone. Of the 416 bee species in New York, 13 percent are in decline, due to disease, nutrient deficiencies, habitat loss/fragmentation, poor management practices, lack of genetic diversity and pesticide exposure. Read more here.
Fresh Market Vegetable Field Day: 
Early Disease Detection and Weed Management Options
Wednesday, July 6, 2016, 9:00am-3:30pm 
4924 Ellicott St Rd (Rt 63), Batavia, NY 14020
The Cornell Vegetable Program is hosting the 2nd Fresh Market Vegetable Field Days on July 6, 2016 in Batavia, NY. Vegetable Specialists, Darcy Telenko, Judson Reid, and Robert Hadad will be leading demonstration site tours and answering questions on cultural and mechanical pest management options for fresh market vegetable growers. Information will be provided for both conventional and organic growers at all levels of expertise. Equipment options and considerations will be discussed. Industry representatives will have the opportunity to meet with growers to comment on their products. More information can be found here.
The Divine Swine Pork Processing Workshop
July 9th, 2016, 8:30am-3:00pm. Crosby Farm in Berne, New York
Nicole E. Day Gray and Eric Shelley of AgriForaging Food Safety are offeringThe Diving Swine Pork Processing Workshop on July 9th at Crosby Farm in Berne, New York from 8:30am to 3pm. The Divine Swine is an on-farm comprehensive pork processing workshop aimed to demonstrate:
-Common meat processing hand tools and food safety techniques.
-Methods to break a carcass into main primals or chunks
-Grocery, artisanal, and traditional cuts.
-Federal and state legal methods to harvest and sell pork.
-Discussing types of further processing like smoking, curing, and grinding.
-Creating & sampling German Breakfast Sausage and Sweet/Hot Italian Sausage links.
-Basics of wrapping and freezing pork to retain the quality.
For more information contact Nicole Day Gray at 607.427.9848 or email nicole@agriforaging.com or visit this website.
Soil Health and Fertility for Perennial Tree Crops
July 16, 2016, 11:00 am-3:00 pm
3336 Podunk Road, Trumansburg, NY 14886
Managing orchard fertility is about more than just fertilizer. The fact is your orchard soil is a giant digestive engine, chewing up carbon, nitrogen, and minerals to feed not only your trees but the soil food web. In this workshop, we'll discuss the basics of understanding your soil so you can better understand what's going on right under your feet, the mineral connection, and what you can do to improve the soil's health and overall vitality to grow better fruit. We discuss the basics of soil chemistry, physical characteristics, and soil biology. We'll interpret soil tests, leaf analyses, go over some basics methods to assess your overall soil health, soil respiration, soil aggregate stability, and more. If you have soil or leaf tissue sample that you'd like to look at, bring them along.
To register or for more information, visit here or contact Mike Biltonen, (845) 674-5124, Mike@knowyouroots.com
Summer Field Day on Reduced Tillage in Organic Vegetables
August 17, 2016, 4-7 pm. 
Freeville Organic Research Farm at the HC Thompson Vegetable Research Farm
133 Fall Creek Road, Freeville NY.
Our Cornell Reduced Tillage Team is offering an in-depth field tour of strategies to improve soil health in organic vegetables. Our tour will highlight current research on integrating cover crops and reducing tillage for farms at multiple scales.  We will demonstrate strip tillage for small-scale farmers and review impacts of new mulching and covering cropping techniques on weeds and crops.We will also have an in-field demonstration of measuring soil health impacts after different practices. Learn more about how these practices may impact pest or disease challenges, such as Swede Midge. Register: This is a free event. For registration information, contact Ryan Maher at rmm325@cornell.edu. The event is sponsored by NOFA-NY.
MANY MORE EVENTS at our Statewide Events Calendar.
Career, Etc. Opportunities
NY FarmNet Program Aide III
NY FarmNet is hiring! We are looking for someone with a passion for helping NY Farmers, a good grasp of financial and administrative tasks and a positive attitude. Responsibilities include:
  • Under general supervision, coordinate information and referral services among the professional consultants requiring the handling and creation of confidential information within legal specifications by managing 24 hour hotline.  
  • Oversee all administrative activities including program coordination, events planning, and payroll processing, as well as assisting with developing and monitoring an annual budget of $1.1 million, and performing financial projections related to it.  
  • Work as part of a team to constantly enhance FarmNet's delivery of services to NYS agribusiness. 
For more information and to apply, visit here.
Site Manager, Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator
This position is responsible for managing property and agricultural uses at Glynwood's Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator site. The Hudson Valley Farm Business Incubator provides access to land, housing, shared equipment and infrastructure, farm and business mentoring, and low-interest capital to start-up farm businesses. The Site Manager will train and assist incubator program participants, as a part of the Farmer Training team. The Site Manager oversees the work of contractors on the grounds and is responsible for the maintenance of agricultural equipment. Additional roles include administration, communications, and development activities in support of Glynwood's farmer training programs. Find more information here.
ProFarmer Program Applications Now Available
The ProFarmer Program is a multi-year, residential training program in Hurley, NY, for those with farming experience who aspire to obtain professional farm management positions or own and operate their own farm enterprises in the Hudson Valley. ProFarmer trainees are full-time, year-round employees of the Farm Hub and are offered the option of on-farm housing. We will select five candidates to join the program which begins in March 2017. This is a full-time salaried position, including full benefits, with an annual salary in the low $30,000 range. The deadline for applications is September 9th, 2016. For more information or an application, please visit here or contact our Education Program Manager, Sara Katz, atprogramer@hvfarmhub.org . 
Funding Opportunities
Agriculture Energy Audit Program 
NYSERDA offers financial assistance to identify electric and natural gas energy efficiency measures for eligible farms and on-farm producers, including but not limited to: dairies, orchards, greenhouses, vegetables, vineyards, grain dryers, and poultry/egg. NYSERDA will assign Flexible Technical Assistance (FlexTech) Program Consultants to perform free energy audits to eligible farms and on-farm producers. This program offers a free energy audit to farms and on-farm producers. The applicant can choose from one of three levels of audits including a simple walk through for smaller and less complex operations, a standard energy audit which looks at all farm systems and provides recommendations for energy efficiency upgrades, and a more in depth audit which includes an analysis of a specific system and/or a renewable assessment. For more information or to apply for the program, visit the Agriculture Energy Audit Program webpage.
Grants to Help Socially Disadvantaged Rural Businesses
The USDA is seeking applications for grants to provide assistance to socially-disadvantaged business groups in rural areas. Recipients eligible for these grants include groups of cooperatives, individual cooperatives and cooperative development centers that serve socially-disadvantaged groups. The USDA is making $3 million in grants available with the maximum award to a recipient being $175,000. Applications must be submitted by August 5, 2016, or electronically by August 1, 2016. More information can be found here.
AFRI Water for Agriculture Challenge Area
The long-term goal of the AFRI Water for Agriculture Challenge Area is to tackle critical water issues by developing both regional systems for the sustainable use and reuse, flow and management of water, and at the watershed and farm scales, water issues focused on production and environmental sustainability efforts. Project types supported within this Challenge area are multi-function Integrated Research, Education, and/or Extension Projects and Food and Agricultural Enhancement (FASE) Grants. There is an amount of $10,700,000 available. Proposals are due August 4, 2016. More information, along with the request for applications, can be found here.
Latest Resources
Cultivate New York Communications Strategy Webinar
Please join us for a webinar featuring our American Farmland Trust's new report Cultivate New York: Agenda to Protect Farmland for Growing Food and the Economy. The webinar will break down highlights from the report and outline communication strategies that land trusts, local governments, farm and food groups and concerned citizens can use to magnify key messages about protecting farmland. Participants will receive the Cultivate NY Communications Toolkit, with sample infographics, stories and messages for distribution through social media, as well as newsletters, media releases and events. Register here.
Get Connected!
Need personal help?
Sometimes local questions are best answered by your neighborhood Cornell Cooperative Extension agent. Check out our county-by-county listing of small farm agents here. You can also get to know our Cornell Small Farms Program staff, or contact us. Just starting to farm? We have an extensive directory of beginning farmer service providers across the Northeast in the "Who Can Help?" section of our Northeast Beginning Farmers Project website.
SFP Small Farms Program Logo
The Small Farms Update is intended as a resource for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York and the Northeast, and is provided to you by Cornell Small Farms Program. Our mission is to foster the sustainability of diverse, thriving small farms that contribute to food security, healthy rural communities, and the environment.  The Cornell Small Farm Program is a joint effort of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Cornell Cooperative Extension.

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